Alesis have just announced the launch of a new compact USB audio and MIDI interface, dubbed the iO2 Express.
Capable of transferring two channels of digital audio to and from a PC or Mac, at up to 24-bit/48kHz quality, the unit features two mic/line inputs (with phantom power), which can be individually switched to accept instrument-level signals. The iO2 Express also has both MIDI input and output sockets.
The audio channels each have an insert point for use with outboard processors, and the stereo pair of analogue outputs has its own level control, eliminating the need for a monitor controller when used with powered monitors.
The line-level stereo outputs are mirrored on the top panel's headphone output socket, which also has its own independent level control, and there's a handy Monitor Mix knob, which blends some of the direct signal from the preamps with the stereo return from your computer, allowing for latency-free monitoring while recording.
Available from the end of April, the Alesis iO2 Express will set you back just £79.